Nokia makes 5G positioning key part of Alcatel-Lucent merger
Nokia made 5G R&D one of its key rationales for its €15.6 billion acquisition of Alcatel-Lucent (ALU) .
“France will be home to a huge R&D headquarter, as well as a 5G innovation centre”
The merger means that Nokia now boast ALU’s strength in Cloud and IP routing areas , whilst it will locate a 5G/Small Cell research and development centre in France.
CEO Rajeev Suri also called out 5G as one of the key capabilities converged operators will need to compete successfully – alongside mobile and fixed broadband, next generation OSS, IP Routing and Cloud and Analytics.
“We have the full portfolio … Some of the other European players don’t have it”
‘We have the full portfolio that it takes to win for a converged operator. Some of the other European players don’t have it,’ he continued, suggesting that Nokia is now in a position to overtake Ericsson in particular.
Nokia has had to maintain employment in France consistent with ALU’s existing commitments, but the company is expecting to expand research and development by targeting graduate with skills in ‘futuristic-orientated technologies’, namely 5G.
“Alcatel-Lucent is sitting on some important patents in the 5G space”
There is one theory that the acquisition is a ploy by Nokia to purchase ALU’s patents for 5G, notably those from their research arm Bell Labs. Speaking to TechCrunch.com, Ray Wang, founder of Constellation Research, argued: ‘Alcatel-Lucent is sitting on some important patents in the 5G space and Nokia is doubling down on those technologies. This is really about an IP grab and a way back to leap-[frog] the markets.’
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